Sunday, August 3, 2014

Learning online

If you aren’t living under a rock, then you are probably aware of the revolution that is sweeping education. It is called Massive Open Online Course (MooC). Almost every big university I know of, now has its own online course. Besides, you got the good old ones like Coursera. Finally, even SAP has got into the game with its Open SAP content. Education has been revolutionized for ever. There will be a time when people will no longer have to go to Universities to get a degree. We will all study online and study continuous till we leave for our heavenly abode.

I have been trying to study MooCs over the last 2 years. After over 3 failed attempts (in which I left the course half way – got bored or over whelmed) I finally managed to complete 5 courses now. That makes me a self-proclaimed expert. So here is what I have learnt after several botched attempts:

You have to dedicate time for studying in your week – Yup if you don’t plan and allocate time to it just like every other activity, you won’t have time to study. Make sure you plan your calendar for the week with ample time slots for studying.

You need more time to study than you think you do – Most courses say 4-5 hours of study time required per week. Trust me, they are just trying to make you feel good. On an average every week’s worth of lectures and test take me anywhere between 10-20 hours of work depending on how well I can concentrate.

Load your portable device with the lectures – Yeah, your smartphone ain’t for candy crush and Facebook only. Make time to read and listen to your MooC lectures during your daily commutes. Commutes are the best times to listen to the lectures. It is much better time spent than staring at your co-passengers.

Read the course discussion forums – Most course assignments are difficult. The forums are a treasure house of useful information. These forums are almost always well curated and well managed by the professor and the TA so spend ample amount of time to go through them and read the notes.

Practice to assimilate what you learnt – While you can clear the course and get a certificate by following what I mentioned above, online learning doesn’t ever give you the desired amount of practice that you need to master anything. So, you have to spend a lot of time beyond your course to really sit, practice and imbibe whatever you learnt.

1 comment:

  1. Your blogs form a part of my staple diet that I need to have during office hours (you know what I mean ;) ). They offer a short respite from office politics :p

    I want you to write at least 1 blog a week. Common you can do it... The world is overflowing with funny/cynical/sinister and what not things. Go out and Hammer them Tiger!!!

    Oh yes, I almost forgot!!! Singapore Airlines has started A380 flights from Mumbai to Singapore. Go grab that chance...

    - Sandeep Kulkarni